LOGANVILLE - The Salem boys basketball team witnessed its season come to an abrupt end Tuesday in an 87-69 loss to Loganville during the play-in game of the Region 8-AAAA tournament.
The outside shooting by the Red Devils (14-12) proved too much for Salem to handle. They finished 13 of 27 (48 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc.
"Loganville definitely shot the lights out from 3-point range, and to do that with 27 attempts shows how hot they were," Salem coach Darren Wilkins said. "We forced them to take some deep shots and even changed defenses, but they were on a roll."
Salem (5-21) took a 15-12 lead late in the first quarter after a jumper by Jarrett Brown. But Loganville's John Harris scored five straight points to close the period.
Brown had a team-high 16 points in three quarters of action before fouling out.
Tevin Bradley knotted the score at 17 to open the second quarter. However, the Seminoles never got any closer to taking the lead.
A 3-pointer by Ryan Boulter with 6:25 left until halftime gave the Red Devils the lead for good. He later added two more treys in the quarter, helping Loganville to a 44-31 advantage at intermission.
Tyler Gunnett scored nine of his 23 points in the second period. He finished with a team-high nine rebounds, three 3-pointers and 999 career points.
After scoring 27 points in the second period, Loganville added 23 more in the third. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Salem's Jasijah Smith with 3:35 remaining made it 58-46 before Devise Blount stretched the lead with a field goal.
Armand Kendrick's 3-pointer with 3:10 left cut the deficit to 60-49, yet each time the Seminoles seemed poised to make a run, the Red Devils had an answer. By quarter's end, Loganville led 67-52.
The Red Devils tacked on 20 more points in the fourth compared to the Seminoles' 17 en route to the win.
Salem shot 11 of 24 (46 percent) from the free-throw line. Loganville was 16 of 24 (67 percent).
Harris finished with 22 points, followed by Boulter (17) and Blount (12).
Sophomores Brown and Kendrick each finished with 16 points for the Seminoles. Bradley had 13 points, while sophomore Tyone Elliott returned from a season-long injury with eight points and a game-high 11 boards.
Salem's Jonathon Slade finished with six points and seven rebounds.
"Our youth really stepped up, and that was a big positive from this game," Wilkins said. "We hope the loss motivates them to work hard this summer to put ourselves in a better position in next year's playoffs."
Jason Murdock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.